Remote workers and the housing market: The shift of post-pandemic work options.
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Brianna Frith

Author, Founder at Endhome

Living in the city is definitely different from living in more rural areas.

There are pros and cons to both, with some people preferring a coastal vibe of heavy traffic and high expenses while others seek out rural surroundings and low costs. There’s no harm in visiting both sorts of places before making a final decision, but it’s important to keep your longterm budget/needs in mind. Of course, this pivot in the market had some newfound push to it: Commuting to the office was no longer needed because many workplaces started remote work.

It’s not a far-fetched idea: prices outside large cities are lower and rising interest rates put a strain on home buyers, especially in metropolitan areas such as Toronto and Vancouver that are particularly in the economic crossfire. Outside the city is that much more affordable, and with demand increasing, it seems like an obvious move.

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But is this move the best choice on the cusp end of the pandemic? There seems to be a continuing rush to rural cities, however, there might be some reasons to stay put, or find an area somewhere in between. 

Why? The shift of post-pandemic work options.

Companies that went fully remote are switching back to old practices, or more commonly, hybrid jobs.These businesses are forced to push a more hybrid work approach to get a bang for their buck, or rather, bang for their office space. Many have leasing contracts, signed well before the pandemic, that they simply can’t get out of. Wanting to put that space into use means workers are back in the office, at least in some capacity. 

This means that many of the families that moved multiple hours out from their jobs are now scrambling to find homes closer to work, in lieu of the mandatory come-into-office demands. 

While some companies are choosing to stay fully remote, this isn’t the case for many, and experts predict that the transition period is only just starting. The current smaller spaces in the city are leased and can’t accommodate the workforce that’s being hired. Once these buildings expand, they will become a perfect place for workers to be based.

What does this mean for buyers? Understand your options! 

Moving out of major city locations seems like a great choice until you are forced to move back and are out-of-pocket. Look into the middle ground; Moving well out into Timbuktu is cheaper and a lifestyle change, as seen through the past two years, but somewhere in between is the new market. With the changing landscape of the workplace, housing markets are shifting too.